New Brooklyn Heights library to open June 8
The long-awaited new Brooklyn Heights Branch of Brooklyn Public Library will open on June 8, it was announced recently.
The new library, at over 26,000 square feet, will be the largest neighborhood branch in Brooklyn, offering a children’s area, the first dedicated teen space in a Brooklyn branch, meeting rooms that will be available to the public, and lots of spaces to browse and read, according to BPL.
The new library is within the new, 36-story residential building at 280 Cadman Plaza West, also known as One Clinton. The Brooklyn Eagle earlier this month reported that the building is almost complete, with most of the façade finished except for some paneling near the top of the tower.
The new building will also house a 9,000-square-foot STEM research center operated by the Department of Education and two ground-floor retail spaces, one of them leased by the Brooklyn Roasting Company.
The new library replaces one that was built in 1961 that had several problems including a malfunctioning air conditioning system that would, according to BPL, have cost an estimated $3.5-$4.5 million to replace. That building also contained the Business Branch, now part of the Main Branch at Grand Army Plaza.
The building’s site was sold in 2014 for $52 million, and the building was demolished in 2016-17. The agreement by which One Clinton would be built, and which included the new library space and the STEM center as well as affordable housing that was built off-site in Clinton Hill, was OK’d by then-Councilmember Steve Levin and the Brooklyn Heights Association. However, there were several opposition groups in the Heights that fought hard to keep the original library open.
Since the library was demolished, services have been provided at a temporary Brooklyn Heights Library branch at Our Lady of Lebanon Church on Remsen Street.
Proceeds from the sale of the old library site also funded improvements at other BPL sites. Among them have been $6.5 million for a branch modernization and infrastructure upgrade at Walt Whitman; $6 million for branch modernization at Washington Irving; $11 million for the “fit-out” of a new, larger branch in Sunset Park; $1 million for a new library serving DUMBO, Vinegar Hill and Farragut Houses; $2.7 million for a new environmental education center at the Greenpoint Library, and more.
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